Friday, August 13, 2021

Batman: The Long Halloween (Part Two)

Batman: The Long Halloween (Part Two) concludes the two-part adaptation of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's thirteen-issue maxi-series. Part Two races through the remainder of the story with more villains, more holidays, flashbacks to a young Bruce Wayne, the birth of Two-Face (Josh Duhamel), and (when it remembers to get around to it) the final unmasking of the Holiday killer. The adaptation takes a more definitive approach to Gilda (Julie Nathanson), playing off the heavy foreshadowing from Part One.

The movie jumps around a bit, and with so much focus on Bat-villains such as Poison Ivy (Katee Sackhoff) and Scarecrow (Robin Atkin Downes) who both put Batman out of action for a bit (seriously, Batman gets his ass handed to him quite a bit here), the actual Holiday mystery gets buried. The script also dives into a bit more of the mobster plot, and its ties to the Wayne family, along with the reveal of Catwoman's (Naya Rivera) interest in the Falcone family.

With the likes of the Joker (Troy Baker), Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter (John DiMaggio), Holiday, Calendar Man (David Dastmalchian), Solomon Grundy (Fred Tatasciore), Two-Face, and the Gotham mob, Batman (Jensen Ackles) sometimes gets lost here as well, although his lack of deductive reasoning that hobbles him over most of the two movies does show a bit of a spark at the end. Some of the cameos seem completely superfluous (especially the Joker and Hatter), but I will say I enjoyed Naya Rivera's performance as Catwoman more the second time around seeing the scenes she was obviously cast for in Part Two. Overall, separate or combined, the Batman: The Long Halloween is a solid adaptation that works up to a point while taking a few shortcuts racing through a lengthy storyline. But, hey, at least it's better than Batman: Hush or the dumpster fire that was Batman: The Killing Joke.

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